Ortiz Leads Rally & Unveils Bill Calling for a Sanctuary New York State
Assembly Member & Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) along with State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens), advocates, community leaders and neighbors urged for the passage of a bill that will establish the ‘Sanctuary State of New York.’
Under the proposal (S.7849/A.8776) the two lawmakers introduced, state and local enforcement agencies would be prohibited from acting as agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), severely limiting the information they would be authorized to share with federal authorities. Additionally, the bill would restrict state and local agencies from cooperating with ICE to arrest or detain immigrants in New York.
Ortiz and Peralta also urged Congress to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) for its treatment of immigrants and separating minors from their parents. The lawmakers are outraged that ICE has been used to conduct raids in accordance with “zero tolerance” as ordered by the Trump Administration.
Undocumented immigrants contribute about $1.1 billion to state and local taxes in New York, according to a study released by the Fiscal Policy Institute. The study points out that undocumented immigrants are responsible for about $40 billion of New York State’s economic output (GDP). They account for 11% of the leisure and hospitality industry; 9% in agriculture and construction; among other many sectors.
The bill calls for state and local law enforcement agencies to focus on community policing, instead of “rounding up hard-working, honest immigrants.”
“It is absolutely critical for all New Yorkers to stand up with our immigrant neighbors and draw a clear line against federal immigration attacks against our cities and communities. We cannot allow our own law enforcement agencies to assist these efforts without common sense guidelines,” said Ortiz.
Cuomo Pumps $3.1 Million Into Bklyn Community Gardens
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced a $3.1 million investment to renovate and transform eight community gardens and deliver a much-needed direct water connection to 14 others throughout Central Brooklyn.
The monetary infusion is the next step in the $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative to transform the Central Brooklyn region with a new model of community development and wellness to address chronic disparities, such as systemic violence, affordable housing, lack of access to open space and entrenched poverty in high-need communities.
“The state is taking aggressive action to reverse the chronic social, economic, and health disparities in Central Brooklyn so we can improve the lives of the New Yorkers who live in communities that have been neglected for far too long,” Cuomo said. “Community gardens provide critical opportunities for healthier lifestyles, and these vital improvements made in 22 locations are going to connect residents to the outdoors and gathering spaces, and create access to the immeasurable benefits of open space.”
The eight community gardens and allocations are: Aberdeen St Community Garden / 91 Aberdeen Street / $900,000; Williams Ave Community Garden / 88 Williams Avenue / $500,000; Hull St Community Garden / 145 Hull Street / $500,000; Decatur Community Garden / 1052 Decatur Street / $100,000; McLeod’s Community Garden, 130 Liberty Avenue / $100,000; Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Garden / 95 Malcolm X Boulevard / $100,000; Greene Acres Community Garden, 322 Franklin Avenue / $100,000; Target Community Garden / 931 Bedford Avenue / $100,000.
The 14 additional Central Brooklyn community gardens that will receive direct water connections at a cost of $50,000 each are Heckscher Foundation Children’s Garden / 134 Scholes Street; Madison St. Community Garden / 974 Madison Street; Essex St. Community Garden / 3030 Fulton Street; Concerned Citizens of Grove St / 72 Grove Street; St. Johns Place Renaissance Garden / 1642 St. John’s Place; Garden of Hope / 392 Hancock Street; 100 Block Bergen St. Block Association Garden / 1107 Bergen Street; Heaven’s Gate Garden / 169-171 Hart Street; Patchen Ave Garden / 49 Patchen Avenue; Jane Bailey Community Garden / 327 Greene Avenue; United Herkimer Garden Club / 97 Herkimer Street; Westbrook Memorial Garden / 1233 Pacific Street; Hendrix St. Community Garden / 532 Hendrix Street; and Sheffield Garden / 673 Sheffield Avenue.
Donovan Hails Trump’s Establishing A National Council For The American Worker
U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday hailed President Donald Trump’s executive order establishing the National Council for the American Worker to provide a forum for the development of a national strategy to address urgent workforce issues.
The Council, composed of government officials as well as an advisory board of industry leaders and experts, will:
- Develop a national campaign to raise awareness of workforce issues, such as the urgency of the skills crisis and the importance of STEM education;
- Create a plan for recognizing companies that demonstrate excellence in workplace education, training, retraining policies, and workforce investment;
- Help expand the number of apprenticeships and encourage increased investment in training and re-training American workers;
- Recommend a specific course of action for increasing transparency related to education and job-training programs, and propose ways to increase available job data; and
- Consider and implement the recommendations of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board (Board), as appropriate.
“American workers are the engine of our economy and key to our nation’s prosperity. President Trump has made increasing opportunity a focus of his administration, and today he delivered a plan to empower more people and support a 21st century workforce,” said Donovan.
“By establishing the National Council for the American Worker and investing in workplace education, training, and re-training, we are equipping hardworking men and women with the tools needed to unleash their potential and pursue the American dream. This focused plan will help develop the American workforce of the future and create a more prosperous country for generations to come,” he added.
Gillibrand Hails Expansion Of SBA Program Helping Women & Minority Entrepreneurs
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced that following her push, the Senate passed the Microloan Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation she cosponsored that would expand the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program to provide loans and technical assistance to minority and women business owners, as well as other entrepreneurs, who face challenges accessing the capital needed to start and expand small businesses because they are often denied loans by banks.
The Senate passed the the measure this week and has also passed the House. The legislation will now need to be conferenced with the House-passed bill ahead of final passage into law.
“Many New Yorkers are proud entrepreneurs with great ideas and the drive to see them through, and I’m very pleased that this bipartisan bill to support them has passed the Senate,” said Gillibrand. “The bipartisan Microloan Modernization Act would give many would-be small business owners, who often struggle to get loans from banks, more efficient access to capital to start and grow their businesses. New Yorkers are working incredibly hard to make their communities thrive, and I was proud to fight for this legislation to support small businesses, reward work and entrepreneurship, and help fix our economy.”
The Microloan Modernization Act would strengthen the SBA Microloan Program by raising the total limit on outstanding loans to intermediary lending organizations, which would allow for more loans to be made to minority, women, and other business owners.
An additional provision of the Microloan Modernization Act that expands opportunities for more hands-on training assistance to help small business owners succeed passed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill earlier this year.
New Kings Democrats Picnic In Prospect Park
After a very successful petitioning season, the New Kings Democrats will hold a NKD Picnic Outing tomorrow in Prospect Park.
“We’re looking forward to unwinding and enjoying a lovely afternoon in the park with you. Family, friends and furry companions are welcome–this informal event is open to everyone! And of course, don’t forget to bring a small dish or snack (in true potluck fashion)!” the club said in an email.
The picnic is slated for 12 n00n-4 p.m., tomorrow, July 21 in Prospect Park (near the Bandshell. The nearest subway station is the 7th Avenue F/G. Exact location & more information is on their Facebook page.